Thanks to the NexStar crew for sending in the recap!
On Saturday and Sunday of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January 13 & 14, NexStar Lacrosse held its’ 9th annual college showcase. Coach Doug Shanahan, former Team USA member, Teewaarton winner and current Western High School head coach, welcomed over 120 boys from 7 states (FL, NY, NJ, CT, VA, MI & UT) to Caloosa Park in Delray Beach for two days of clinic work and game play with some of the best college coaches from around the country.
The two-day format divided the athletes into small groups based on their graduating class; high school seniors down to 6th graders worked hard for two days. At the younger age levels, a less-intensive youth skills clinic followed the same instructional format for the players.
Coach Shanahan noted “It was very important for us to get these kids meaningful minutes with each coach. The opportunity to absorb fresh knowledge from skilled coaches is priceless for an athlete trying to improve.”
The weekend was designed to maximize time with the coaches. NexStar athletes enjoyed their “working lunch” on Saturday where the break was enhanced by recruiting talks from Tom Mariano, head coach of the Pace University Setters and the Florida Launch as well as University of Pennsylvania and New York Lizards offensive coordinator, Ryan Danehy.
Day One of the Showcase Weekend was dominated by positional work and instructional sessions until the afternoon, when players moved to game play. Each team was coached by the collegiate staff for full-length games observed by the remainder of the college coaches. Day Two of the showcase was entirely game play.
“This was the largest group we’ve had in 9 years,” said Shanahan. “And it’s the most energetic and interactive group of coaches yet. We’re thrilled that the athletes enjoyed themselves, learned a lot and made connections to better their futures. We are especially proud of our college staff’s dedication to making this event the best it could possibly be. They were the reason the weekend was the success that it was. The bar has been set for 2019 and all of us involved are excited to raise it even further.”
The list of coaches who worked the weekend with the kids:
Tom Mariano – Pace University/Florida Launch
Ryan Danehy – University of Pennsylvania/New York Lizards
Steve Soriano – Princeton University
Nick Lattel – Harvard University
Mike Ondrusek – Whittier College
Jimmy Ryan – Rutgers University
Dan Cocchi – Towson University
Derek Andrake – Jacksonville University
Pat Johnston – Keiser University
Jesse Vanatta – Palm Beach Atlantic University
Lloyd Hamilton – Lynn University
Mark Rice – St. John Fisher University
Fred Bulken – Hartford University
Alex Bunick – Babson College
Nick Tuttle – Canisius College
At the end of the scrimmages the Coaches were asked to vote on the kids they deemed the All Stars of the weekend and here’s their choices!